The 4 Most Common Sales Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

54% of salespeople say it’s getting harder to close sales. In fact, less than a quarter of sellers meet their quotas. These statistics by Sales Insights Lab lay bare the difficulties that today’s salespeople face.

With increased competition, there’s no room for costly mistakes. So, to keep you on the right track, here are some of the most common sales mistakes – and how to dodge them.

Lack of consistency

Salespeople often make the mistake of not following a process. As a result, they tend to collect a mixture of hits and misses along the way, never quite finding their stride. Plus, without consistency, you may lean toward the tasks you tend to enjoy and neglect the important yet demanding tasks.

Inconsistent efforts usually lead to not following up adequately enough to drive sales, which lowers your closure rate. According to The Lead Management Study, you need to follow up at least six times to avoid giving up too soon. Increasing your call attempts can lead to a potential 70% increase in responses.

So, as the best sales courses advise, to flip the script and raise your closure rate, maintain a consistent process in both your daily tasks and your follow-ups. Through trial and error, find a strategy that brings you the most results. For instance, you can break up your daily tasks and action them at the same time every day. That way, you have enough time set aside for prospecting, emailing, follow-up calls, and other admin tasks.

Not listening

Your customers usually deal with scores of sellers on the daily. It often gets tiring to listen to pitch after pitch. Unfortunately, salespeople typically make the mistake of piling more pitches on the customer. The more buyers have to listen to pitches, the higher the odds that they won’t pay attention or respond.

By talking more than you listen, you signal to the buyer that you’re more concerned with moving your product or service than caring about what the customer really wants and needs.

Instead, consider listening more than you talk to strike a better rapport with your leads. As most sales courses teach, if you listen to the customer, they’ll usually tell you exactly what you need in order to bring the deal to a close. Once you visualize a customer’s needs, you can help them see how your offering presents the best solution to their pain points.

Winning at all costs

Meeting quotas and gunning for targets is an important part of sales. However, if you focus on the end goal so much that you want to hit the bullseye at all costs, you’ll do more harm than good. For instance, you may find yourself:

  • Stretching the truth or exaggerating the benefits. Overselling the benefits of your offering may sour your relations with buyers when they pick up on the facts. Unhappy customers are a breeding ground for bad reviews and negative word-of-mouth reports, which can ruin your long-term sales. According to Reputation Builder, 80% of customers will settle for another seller if they read a negative review of the first company on an online platform.
  • Becoming overly competitive. A healthy dose of competition keeps you on your toes. However, it’s possible to become so competitive that you’re not supporting other team members. Team effort is important for the overall success of the business. When you work together as a team, you can feed off each other’s strengths and make up for weaknesses. Plus, you can help each other understand the concepts you learn in your training courses and workshops. When team members share their knowledge around, they can collectively close more deals.

So, rather than going hard for the win, focus on building rock-solid relations with buyers and other stakeholders. Strong relations promote mutually beneficial outcomes that bring long-term success to the business.

Pushing customers

When customers buy your product without fully thinking through their decisions, it often leads to strong buyer’s remorse, which dampens repeat purchases and can kill the deal.

Salespeople typically make the mistake of pressuring buyers into making quick decisions. While this might help you make more short-term sales, it puts a pin in your long-term goals.

The best sales courses teach that it’s important to focus more on the value proposition than on the sale itself. When you shine a light on value, buyers can make an informed, well-thought-out decision. That way, your customers are less likely to feel rushed or pressured into a decision. In turn, customers feel positive about their purchase and about you as a company.

Ultimately, listen to your customers and work consistently. Focus on the value proposition and building relationships to steer clear of common pitfalls and achieve more success.